Filed In: Process

Father/Daughter Project - Part 1

November 15, 2019   |   Chris Blandford

I am about to start on a new project, and thought I would try something a little different.

To date, I’ve built five or six keeper-bicycles. Three or six garbage-bicycles. The numbers depend on who’s counting. In any case, I feel like I’m at a point in my hobby-ism where I’ve established a beginner’s routine. The last couple bikes I built went (oddly) according to plan, which was not the case for the first four-or-eight that I built. At the least, I’m no longer (grossly) intimidated by the idea of building a simple bicycle. Learning-curve progress, I think.

And so, I figured it was time for a little reflection; I think I need to really check-in on my budding processes.

I’m going to document a project. Start to finish. With photos and explanations. To this point I’ve taken photos and made notes as I’ve gone along, but not in a real, comprehensive way. I think it’ll be interesting to get it all down in one spot.

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Filed In: Stories

New Project

November 01, 2019   |   Chris Blandford

I have almost four years of parenting experience. So--like a bicycle maker who has made four bicycles--I’m basically an expert. In that time, I’ve decided that 90% of parenting--like in any great, political struggle--is setting appropriate precedent. Having a bit of foresight. I swear to God, you let her lick the butter knife one f-ing time and a week later she’s throwing her toast at the dog and telling you that she loves Momma more than you because “you’re the not-nice one”. It’s infuriating. Your own past moment-of-laziness scream-laughing in the corner, mocking you so.

The other 10% of parenting, I’ve learned, is patience.

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Filed In: Process

Riding in Circles

October 18, 2019   |   Chris Blandford

Two things of bicycle-note happened recently.

First:

Last Saturday, I rode over to the Chris King Open House. For the non-nerdy, Chris King makes very nice parts--here in Portland--for very nice bikes. Each year, they invite a handful of professional custom bicycle builders to display a bicycle showcasing new King products. They also serve beer and give a factory tour--that whole deal.

The style of bike that was being shown at this year’s event wasn’t really my thing. Lots of gravel bikes and road bikes and mountain bikes. Bikes made for bike rides. Which is great, but--again--not where my interest lies. I’m as bike nerdy a person as one will ever meet, but these types of events help to remind me that my bike nerdiness is confined, really, to a small niche within a broader, more widespread nerdom.

I can’t remember the last time I went for a bike ride. I ride my bike every day, but an actual bike ride? In a big circle? For no other point than pure enjoyment or exercise? It’s been years, I’d guess. I like riding bikes from here to there. To and fro. In lieu of walking or driving or e-scootering or roller skating, but that’s it. To the hardware store. To get groceries. To go down to the coffee shop to write a blog post for boring little blog. I suppose the rides--technically--go around in a circle, but there are intentional stops along the way. I ride slow, and get passed by lots of bike-ride-bike-riders. Sometimes Mathilda is squirming about in the bucket of our cargo bike on the way to (or from) school, but otherwise I’m nearly always alone.

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